Kazemi: Top priorities crime, permanent Fort Myers police chief

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – The search for a permanent police chief for Fort Myers can begin now that the city has hired a new manager.

Newly-appointed Fort Myers City Manager Saeed Kazemi said Wednesday his top priority moving forward is cutting down on crime.

“I want to attack that and try to make sure that I can reduce the crime as much as I could,” Kazemi said.

Kazemi served as interim city manager after former city manager Billy Mitchell retired. Now that Kazemi has been appointed to the permanent position, he can begin tackling some of his first responsibilities. Among those tasks is hiring a permanent police chief.

The city has had to wait until a city manager was hired. With that settled, Kazemi said he hopes to have a chief in place in three months.

“I’m looking for somebody that has familiarity with the area, the type of city that we are, the demographic that we are, diversity that we are, and the type of crimes that I’m seeing here today,” he said.

There are almost 50 applicants Kazemi has to consider for Fort Myers police chief, he said. One of those applicants is current interim Police Chief Dennis Eads. Eads said familiarity with the city should be a huge factor.

“First of all, I think it’s important for someone here to do it because it’s hard for someone to come from outside and learn everything,” Eads said. “You are talking a year plus before they even know all the people in the community, community leaders and officers themselves.”

Kazemi said Eads has done a great job, but each candidate will be given equal consideration.

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